A former Punch newspaper near me is on the brink of bankruptcy.
Its owner, Michael Lomax, said he owes more than $1 million.
The owner of a popular Punch newspaper in southern Idaho is on trial in federal court.
The judge who presided over the case, James G. Lomack Jr., says he thinks Lomak’s bankruptcy will be successful, but he also says he doesn’t know for sure.
The case, filed in a U.S. District Court in Idaho, seeks to recover $2,636,500 in damages.
It claims Lomashak’s Punch newspaper was the target of a scheme that used threats, intimidation and threats of violence to coerce the paper’s owner to sell the newspaper.
Lomax says he has sold the paper and its assets since February.
He’s hoping to get the remaining $2 million from the federal lawsuit and is offering a “good faith” settlement.
The federal case, named in a class-action lawsuit, is a response to a federal lawsuit filed in 2015.
That lawsuit, filed by a group of former employees of Punch and a former editor, alleges that the newspaper’s owners used threats of physical violence to obtain information about a former employee.
That employee’s attorney, Michael W. Gellman, said that information was used to threaten the former employee and to intimidate the former employees who were involved in the case.
Gellman said the former employer’s lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction to stop the sale of the Punch paper.
He said the current lawsuit is not aimed at stopping the sale.
“It’s about the paper, its value, its ability to sell,” Gellmaw said.
“This case is about the value of this paper and that’s the way we’re going to try to protect the paper.”
Lomak said he hopes to settle the case with a good faith agreement that allows him to keep the paper.